Eetu Ranta-aho is currently finishing his Master’s studies in composition at the Sibelius Academy under Matthew Whittall’s tutelage. He spent the 2016-2017 academic year in Tokyo as an exchange student studying with Eisuke Tsuchida.
Teika songs (2017)
For soprano and orchestra
Teika songs is a nine-part song cycle for soprano and orchestra based on poems by Japanese poet and scholar Fujiwara no Teika. The whole cycle consists of nine songs, of which the last two are heard in Bergen. The poems, though originally unconnected (but contained within a single volume) are linked together by the musical material highlighting similarities in word choices and images and symbols across the nine poems. The 8th song is like a distant echo of the first, and the 9th contains elements of the whole cycle so far. Originally, I was captivated by the strong visual imagery of these poems, which I believe can be heard especially in the last song.
Sazo nageku – Grieving as he
Koi wo suru ga no – In love by Suruga’s
Utsu no yama – Utsu Mountain,
Utsutsu no yume no – When reality is but a dream
Matashi mieneba – I never will see more.
Shimo mayou – Wracked by frosts,
Sora ni shioreshi – The skies, where the drenched
Karigane no – The geese, calling,
Kaeru tsubasa ni – Homeward bound, wingbeats
Harusame zo furu – Stirring Spring rains’ fall.
Translations by Thomas McAuley